BENGALURU: Toblerone, Lindt, Ferrero Rocher... what do these have to do with an after-lunch digestive? If you head to The Paan Studio in Fraser Town, don’t be surprised when you have to choose from over 135 flavours that the green bundle brings along. It doesn’t matter how heavy an Indian meal is, it just isn’t complete without paan. The humble betel leaf which has been a part of our age-old culinary tradition comes with fillings such as dry fruit, roasted almond, chocolate, to name a few.
Not just that, they have around 50 flavours of chocolate paan, with prices starting from `100 and going up to `250. One of the crowd favourites is Nutella paan which comes in a cone. If you prefer Indian mithais, then you can try out rasmalai and kulfi in your paan too. And if you are someone who is health conscious, they also have different varieties of dry fruit paan, which can be customised.
This recently-opened studio, which welcomes its customers with an old Lambretta in funky colours, has already been gaining popularity among Bengalureans. “It’s funny but the Lamby at the entrance is like a metaphor of presenting old traditions in a new avatar,” says Syed Mateen, co-owner of the studio. The outlet is the brainchild of Mateen and his brother Syed Khaleel, who were earlier running an event management company, which went through a tough time due to the pandemic.
The 33-year-old entrepreneur adds that they get close to 200 customers every day. “Nowadays paan is looked down upon because it is associated with tobacco, but betel leaves themselves have a lot of medicinal properties like being rich in Vitamin C and being a good source of calcium. At our studio, we try to experiment with various flavours by going tobacco-free so that people can enjoy it guilt-free,” Mateen explains. He also mentions that kattha, the brown paste smeared on the leaf, is available at `600 per kg, but the ones they use is priced at `3,500 because of the various herbs it contains.